Acclaimed landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations just won an international competition to replace an elevated highway in San Francisco with the Presidio Parklands, a new 13-acre national park bordering the Golden Gate Bridge. Most famous for their work on the High Line, James Corner's New York-based firm beat out an impressive shortlist that included finalists Snøhetta, West 8, Olin and CMG. The New Presidio Parklands Project will be built overtop two below-grade traffic tunnels, and it will serve as the city's new "shared living room" connecting the Presidio with Crissy Field.
The Presidio Trust, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the National Park Service oversaw the seven-month long Presidio Parklands design competition, which sought conceptual ideas on reintegrating a portion of the Presidio that for seven decades had been isolated by the elevated Doyle Drive highway. In a bid to restore the waterfront to the Presidio’s historic core and the public, the roadways will be buried below a 10-acre landscaped park. The New Presidio Parklands Project will also comprise a 3-acre revitalized Crissy Field Center Youth Campus with a “Learning Landscape” and a new plaza for the Presidio Visitor Center.
Corner’s winning vision for the 13-acre park makes the most of the site’s dramatic panoramic views in a multipurpose landscape that is based on six organizing principles: to preserve and open views; to connect and extend; to showcase history; to enhance ecology; to invite play and learning; and to activate events and culture. Flexible and non-programmed spaces make up most of the park. Public design workshops are expected to begin January 2015, with the goal of opening in 2018.
Via SF Gate